About an hour ago, the Turkish Armed Forces and allied Syrian Turkmen contingents fighting under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner captured Bza’ah after ISIS militants abandoned the town without firing a single shot following the fall of Al-Bab on Thursday morning.

Bza’ah was originally seized by joint Euphrates Shield forces on February 4 but was retaken by ISIS the following day. Despite at least three additional assaults, the Turkish Army and FSA were unable to seize the town through conventional warfare.

On Thursday, ISIS commanders reportedly ordered their fighters to abandon Al-Bab and its neighbouring areas in order to reinforce collapsing frontlines at Deir Hafer and Raqqa.

Subsequently, Islamic State militants have exited the nearby embattled town of Qabasin. Moments ago, FSA units also infiltrated the latter town although booby traps are said to have caused some casualties.

Ahrar al-Sham also posted pictures of its militants inside Al-Bab, suggesting the Islamist faction to be involved in the Turkish-backed offensive.

Further south, the Syrian Arab Army’s elite Tiger Forces captured two villages from ISIS in the early morning hours. Some speculations suggest this may have prompted ISIS to withdraw from Al-Bab.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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Mark Sichel

The invasion of the turks. In my opinion, it is a dangerous strategy of Turkey. If I look at the map (http://syriancivilwarmap.com), it is clear that Turkey occupies the Syrian territory and supports jihadists.

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Françoise LAGATHU

Is it a new discovery for you?

Assad must stay
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Assad must stay

Probabely some ISIS fighters are joining FSA ❗

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Françoise LAGATHU

I thinck so.

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Stern Daler

So do I. Some rats will be leaving the sinking ship.

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Stern Daler

The retreat to reinforce collapsing front-lines at Deir Hafer makes sense. Else the SAA advances would have created a pocket in al-Bab.

p.s. As it is the SAA advances bailed out the Turks and their mercenaries who gave a poor performance against IS. The SAA advances not any Turk pressure forced IS to retreat from al-Bab.

Oğuz
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Oğuz

I’m sorry to say I agree that Turks gave poor performance in alBab field. But it’ll be good for Turk side. Daesh will reinforce areas against Kurdish and Esadist militia. So the Turkish Army can focus on Menbiç possibly Rakka.

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Stern Daler

I am afraid. If the Turkish focus on areas currently held by parties fighting IS or the parties themselves – it can be considered as treason against the interests of humanity.

p.s. And the result can be that others gang up on Turkey and undo what Atatürk achieved.

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Chauhan Chauhan

THERE IS A DEAL BETWEEN TURKEY AND ISIL . TURKEY GAVE ISIL GREEN LIGHT TO GO TO DIER HAFER TO FIGHT SYRIAN ARMY SO THE TURKS CAN ADVANCE FURTHER TOWARDS EUPRATES RIVER TOWARDS RAQQA AND HELP ISIL AGAINST SYRIA ARMY AND SDF.. TURKEY STILL SUPPORT TERRRIOST AND ISIL TO BRING ASSAD DOWN AND WHOLE SYRIA.US /TURKEY/SAUDI/ISRAEL/ ARE STILL ON SAME PAGE

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

They’ll all go to h**l : Allah totally forbids jihadists to retreat from battle. They must martyr on place!